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‘Real marriage’ man to contest Eastleigh poll

An independent candidate hoping to attract votes from disgruntled Tory traditionalists and others opposed to gay marriage is to stand in the Eastleigh by-election.

Danny Stupple, 52, a chartered quantity surveyor, said he had registered himself as a candidate on a ticket of "real marriage" opposed to the party "machine" he said was pushing gay marriage through Parliament without a democratic mandate.

"My understanding is that there were no plans (for gay marriage) in the 2010 election manifestos from anyone and certainly not in the coalition agreement," he said.

"My passion is that if there is going to be change then people should have the opportunity to decide, particularly as David Cameron could not even carry the majority on this issue within his own Parliamentary party."

The married father-of-three grown up children, who is a practising Anglican, said he admires Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings, who also opposes gay marriage.

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